A few generations ago, in many families, the way to begin and end a child’s day was with prayers. They were recited out loud, usually beginning and ending with requests for God to bless the child’s family and friends. Today, however, in most homes, prayers have disappeared, except perhaps before meals. To encourage your family and your students to pray regularly (even for a minute or two at a time), try the following suggestions:
• Point out blessings as you notice them. Say a brief prayer of thanks with your students for the beautiful sunset, a rainbow, a rabbit scurrying across your path, or the rain.
• Give thanks for the small acts of kindness you catch your students doing (sharing a toy, giving another child a turn, saying “please”).
• Let your students share some of the praises and blessings in their own lives. Or point out some blessings for them. Say, “I’m so thankful to God for that yummy fruit we just ate.”
• Help your students verbalize some of their own praises and blessings. Say, “[Jason], why don’t you thank God that your grandma is home from the hospital.”
• Since children are great imitators, try spending some quiet time in prayer by yourself, and let your child know that you are also having your own conversation with God.